Rich Brooks Photography

Where Did This All Start?

I thought the most appropriate topic to first get into on the blog would be how this whole thing even began.  

I moved to Panama City Beach, FL in the spring of 2012. I was still in the Navy at the time, and somehow hit the billet jackpot and was assigned to be the Port Operations Officer in the beautiful spring break capital of the world. The spring break piece actually wasn't as bad as anticipated, but the landscape was also much more beautiful than I had anticipated. I had never been to the Gulf Coast before I moved there, and I was blown away. White sandy beaches and clear turquoise water, it was like I moved to the Caribbean. Add in the fact that PCB is also situated on a little piece of land sticking out from the panhandle of Florida so that it actually faces a little to the west, so the sun sets over the water. Basically, it was probably the prettiest place I've ever lived. 


This was the first picture I took on my first trip to the beach, with my iPhone. 

This was the first picture I took on my first trip to the beach, with my iPhone. 

I was never interested in photography, or any form of art for that matter. I had a bad art teacher when I was a kid, and I hated art for years. Fast forward a bunch of years, and at 26 years old armed with all this new technology like camera phones and Instagram, I realized I had an interest in photography.  But it was really the landscape of Panama City Beach that peaked my interest, and after a few months of living there I decided I wanted to start capturing the gorgeous landscape of my new home. My mom bought me my first camera as an early Christmas gift (thanks Mom!); a Nikon P510 ultrazoom. I have owned point and shoots before when I was younger, but this is what I consider to really be my first camera. 

So that's where this all started. A beautiful new town, and a Nikon P510. And in the next blog post, I'll tell you how I was accidentally forced to start taking surf photography seriously. It's an amusing story. 


Chris Burkard Photography Workshop

So if you follow me on Facebook, you know that things have been pretty busy lately!  In the past few months I had two pieces published by The Inertia, I was selected to be a 'Local Pro Photographer' for Surfline, and most recently I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in a photography workshop being put on by Chris Burkard at the Florida Surf Film Festival.  I am super excited about being able to go to this workshop.

Chris Burkard is one of my top 3 favorite photographers out there, along with Clark Little and Morgan Maassen (you should all go check out their work if you haven't before).  He is a 28 year old, self-taught photographer who loves to travel and capture stunning landscapes in addition to surfing.  I have a style that is a little like his, except that I enjoy being in Florida, and he is often in frigid location such as Antarctica and Iceland.  In our own ways, we both tie surfing in to the bigger picture of the surrounding world.  The focus isn't just what the surfer is doing, but where he is doing it.  Surfing is a sport that interacts with Mother Nature unlike any other sport in the world, and that is always something that I enjoy capturing in my images.  I can't wait for this workshop so I can learn from one of the best!  Here's a video that was recently finished about one of Chris's trips.  It will give you a taste of what he goes through, and show you some of his breathtaking work.